Career enhancement element: Working hard to help each Airman succeed

MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- Staff Sgt. Grace Barce, 62nd Mission Support Squadron, offers advice and encouragement to a newly-promoted Airman. The career enhancement office works to help Airmen with any personnel issues.
(U.S. Air Force Photo by Tyler Hemstreet)

MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- Staff Sgt. Grace Barce, 62nd Mission Support Squadron, offers advice and encouragement to a newly-promoted Airman. The career enhancement office works to help Airmen with any personnel issues. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Tyler Hemstreet)

MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- "They didn't apply my raise to my check!" a panicked Airman bellows into the phone.

Such greetings are routine to Staff Sgt. Grace Barce, 62nd Mission Support Squadron, and other Airmen working in the 62nd MSS' career enhancement office.

The career enhancement office is responsible for keeping a close eye on personnel files that contain promotion, reenlistment and evaluation information for each Airman here.

Since most of the calls the section receives are due to people not getting their promotion pay raises, through close communication with the Air Force Personnel Center at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, Sergeant Barce tries to make sure each Airman's promotions are properly annotated in his or her personnel file.

"I kind of expect people to be mad if they aren't getting paid," Sergeant Barce said. "But once I assure them that they are going to get all of their money back, they're okay."

"Most of the promotions are automatic, but sometimes there are glitches in the system," she said.

The office also checks to verify if Airmen are eligible for retainability. The high operations tempo of the office becomes even more hectic when AFPC updates job assignments that have a large number of openings, said Senior Airman Kasie Spearman, 62nd MSS.

Some of those jobs are critical-skills jobs that require more training, she said.

"Critical-skills jobs are the jobs that attract people to reenlisting and retraining into a career field because they can earn more money, such as pararescue and special tactics," Airman Spearman said.

Airmen usually cannot retrain into another career field unless they reenlist, and there are certain requirements they must meet for retainability, Airman Spearman said.

The office's job is to help Airmen determine if they meet those qualifications, she said.

When it comes to enlisted and officer performance reports, the office also makes sure each bit of information is transferred correctly from the evaluation to each Airman's personnel file.

The information can include anything an Airman has done to help out his or her squadron or awards he or she has received, said Airman 1st Class Samantha Rogers, 62nd MSS.

"It's nice to be able to do something that can help Airmen succeed in their careers," Airman Rogers said.

And the staff does its best to make sure that same enthusiasm and care for each Airman's career is put forth, whether it's a few soothing words in a conversation over the phone or by simply taking the time to properly note accomplishments in a person's personnel file.